×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason Ropell Out as Amazon Film Chief

Jason Ropell is out as the head of Amazon Studio’s film division, Variety has confirmed.

Ted Hope and Matt Newman will serve as interim leaders of the unit, but neither man is expected to take on the job full time, according to an insider. Ropell has been with Amazon for six years, two and a half of which have been spent in the movie end of the business. He will serve as a consultant for the company. Hope is currently head of film production and Newman is in charge of international film strategy.

Amazon will conduct a search for Ropell’s replacement. His ouster comes as newly minted Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke is shaking things up. Although nothing has been set in stone, Salke is moving the company in a different direction and is believed to be looking to back projects on both the film and television front that are more mainstream and less esoteric. Salke replaced Roy Price in March. Price, who favored prestige fare from the likes of Woody Allen, was forced to resign last October after being accused of sexual harassment.

Since delving into the film business in 2015 with the release of Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” Amazon has had a mixed record. It won Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” and scored at the box office with “The Big Sick,” but the company has also released several films, such as “Landline” and “Wonder Wheel,” that failed to make much of an impression with audiences or critics. It has also attracted a reputation for over-spending on art house films at festivals and giving auteurs with limited commercial appeal generous budgets to back passion projects with limited appeal. However, Amazon has also stressed that it has other ways to make money beyond ticket sales. It claims its movies are all about adding value to its Prime offering, a more expensive shipping option that also gives subscribers access to entertainment content. Releasing movies theatrically helps publicize the service.

Upcoming Amazon releases include Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria,” Mike Leigh’s “Peterloo,” and Felix Van Groeningen’s “Beautiful Boy.”

Amazon declined to comment on the staffing changes. Screen International first reported Ropell’s exit.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein Accuser Lucia Evans Breaks

    Harvey Weinstein Accuser Lucia Evans Breaks Silence After D.A. Dropped Charge

    Lucia Evans gave a wrenching account on Tuesday of her efforts to hold Harvey Weinstein responsible for sexual assault, saying she felt betrayed after the Manhattan D.A.’s office dropped her allegations last year. Evans spoke to Variety after giving a speech at a conference on influencer fraud in Manhattan, making her first public comments on [...]

  • Ad Astra

    How 'Ad Astra' Production Crew Created Authentic Look for Brad Pitt Space Drama

    In “Ad Astra,” Brad Pitt’s astronaut Roy McBride crosses the solar system to find and confront his long-lost father, requiring the movie crew to create an authentic-looking future that conveys the theme of traveling long distances to learn the lesson that it’s where you started from that has the most value. “Visually, the aim was [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan'Always Be My Maybe' film

    'Fresh Off the Boat' Creator Nahnatchka Khan Signs First-Look Deal With Netflix

    Netflix has signed “Fresh Off the Boat” creator and executive producer Nahnatchka Khan to an exclusive multi-year first look deal for feature films. Khan made her feature film directorial debut with “Always Be My Maybe” starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. The romantic comedy premiered on Netflix in May and was seen by 32 million [...]

  • The Mover

    Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Costa Rica Announce Oscar Contenders

    Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro and Costa Rica are the latest countries to announce their entries for the newly rebranded International Feature Film award at the 92nd Academy Awards. All four countries are seeking their first Oscar nomination in what was formerly known as the foreign-language film category. Latvia has selected Holocaust drama “The Mover” (pictured) as [...]

  • The Sky Is Pink

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Sky is Pink'

    Shonali Bose’s much-laureled 2014 “Margarita with a Straw” was a film whose presentation of a cerebral palsy-afflicted heroine sidestepped all the usual hand-wringing inspirational clichés of disability portrayal, making her story all the more enlightening and affecting. It is particularly disappointing, then, that the director’s followup should approach another tale of genetic infirmity with all [...]

  • Jodie Turner-SmithVariety Studio Comic-Con, Day 1,

    'Queen and Slim' Star Jodie Turner-Smith Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' (EXCLUSIVE)

    After she plays the Bonnie to Daniel Kaluuya’s Clyde in Universal’s romantic thriller “Queen and Slim,” actress Jodie Turner-Smith will join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Turner-Smith will play Karen Greer a possible love interest to Jordan’s character. As recently announced, Jamie Bell will also co-star as Robert Ritter, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content